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Seven AI Use Cases for Business Architecture

Seven AI Use Case for Business Architecture  .png

by Daniel Lambert (book a 30-minute meeting)

There will be no exceptions. Enterprise architects, like most other professionals, will need to adapt and use artificial intelligence tools to enhance their work. Enterprise architects will continue to align their organization's structure, capabilities, systems, and solutions with its goals, ensuring efficient and strategic use of technology to support business objectives, elaborate business outcomes, and drive innovation, but more and more with the assistance of artificial intelligence tools. 

Gartner’s AI Use Case Prism for Enterprise Architecture

Gartner's AI Use Case Prism for Enterprise Architecture provides a strategic framework designed to assist enterprise architecture (EA) leaders in harnessing the transformative power of AI. It presents 20 specific AI use cases, as shown in Figure 1 below, that have the potential to reshape the landscape of EA, covering aspects from business, capabilities, and AI process optimization to enhanced EA reporting. These use cases are assessed based on their business value—such as cost optimization and business agility—against their feasibility, offering a complete view for decision-makers. The framework aims to guide EA leaders through the critical paths of digital transformation, involving everything from managing the EA function to guiding solution design and delivery. This initiative highlights the growing necessity for integrating AI into EA to maintain competitiveness and agility in a rapidly evolving digital environment.

Figure 1- Gartner's AI Use Case Prism for Enterprise Architecture.png

The value of AI in enterprise architecture is highlighted through its ability to support enterprise architects in various key areas. This includes minimizing the time spent on low-value tasks, lowering the effort needed to govern architecture, refining the quality of analysis, ensuring compliance with best architectural practices, and accelerating knowledge transfer. AI's role as a co-pilot in enterprise architecture extends beyond task automation to enhancing data quality, facilitating information collation, and offering recommendations on architectural designs. These insights not only showcase the practical applications of AI in enhancing enterprise architecture but also illustrate the strategic importance of adopting AI-driven approaches in your enterprise architecture practice to stay ahead in the digital transformation journey.

Seven AI Use Cases for Business Architecture

The same is true for business architecture. Business architects will continue to bond their enterprise's business model and enterprise strategy on one side to the business capabilities, delivery, and execution of their organization on the other side, but more and more with the assistance of artificial intelligence tools. Among Gartner's 20 AI use cases for enterprise architects, seven, mentioned in Table 1 below, are more specific to business architecture, showcasing AI's growing role in optimizing strategic planning, initiative delivery, and business execution. They include reference architecture generation, capability investment optimization, enterprise scenario planning, enterprise threat and opportunity analytics, business roadmap generation, total cost of ownership optimization, and enhanced stakeholder management.

Table 1- Seven AI Use Case for Business Architecture  .png

1.    Reference Architecture Generation

Gartner thinks that incorporating artificial intelligence to reference architecture generation will be of high business value and medium-high feasibility. Reference architecture generation is the creation of a universal framework and set of practices that serve as a template for designing, architecting, implementing, and improving capabilities, systems, and solutions. It provides a standardized methodology and a shared vocabulary that ensures consistency and quality across initiatives and projects. This methodology helps organizations in aligning IT initiatives with business objectives, facilitating scalability, interoperability, and efficient resource allocation. It helps in reducing complexity, expediting development, and ensuring that architectural decisions support the long-term strategic goals of the enterprise.

There is already a convincing AI solution, that can examine, generate, and even enhance your current reference enterprise architecture metamodel. This AI solution, called, also allows continual iterative enhancement of your metamodel by using any one of its 36 AI agent specialists, as shown in Figure 2 below, corresponding to common business and IT stakeholders involved in the planning ecosystem of an organization, to refine their generative AI prompts based on your current enterprise architecture framework, strategies, products, services, and business units. These AI agent specialists can include an executive, a change manager, a customer,  a financial specialist, an enterprise architect, a project manager, a data specialist, etc.

Figure 2 - 36 AI Agents Assisting You in Enhancing Your Enterprise Architecture.png

2. Capability Investment Optimization


Gartner estimates that incorporating AI into capability investment optimization would be of medium to high business value and medium feasibility. Capability investment optimization is a strategic approach to identifying and allocating financial resources to business areas with the highest potential for growth and return on investment. This method requires analyzing the current business capabilities of an organization, forecasting future industry trends, generating strategic business outcomes, and evaluating the potential impact of different investment scenarios. By prioritizing investments in key business capabilities that drive competitive advantage, businesses can maximize their efficiency, innovation, and market responsiveness, ensuring that every dollar spent contributes directly to the overarching goals and success of the organization.

Figure 3 – Required Business Outcome of an Impacted Capability by your Strategy.png, a business generative AI solution, already handles some of the necessary tasks for capability investment optimization. For example, based on your strategies and tactics, this solution can precisely define the necessary business outcome of the impacted capabilities of your organization, as shown above in Figure 3 above.  

3.    Enterprise Scenario Planning

Enterprise scenario planning is a common strategic management approach used to envision and analyze various future states of a business, its underlying capabilities, and possible solutions. It involves identifying trends, uncertainties, and potential events to create plausible scenarios that challenge current assumptions. This approach prepares organizations for unexpected changes by developing flexible capability-based strategies for multiple possible futures. It aids in risk management, decision-making processes, and helps businesses adapt to volatility, ensuring long-term resilience and the ability to capitalize on emerging opportunities.
According to Gartner, planning enterprise scenarios with AI will provide medium-high business value to your organization and is of medium feasibility.

4.    Enterprise Threat and Opportunity Analytics

Enterprise threat and opportunity analytics is a comprehensive assessment framework that organizations use to identify, analyze, and prioritize various external and internal factors that could impact business performance. This strategic analysis aids in the early detection of potential risks and the recognition of opportunities, allowing for proactive management and strategic capability-based planning. It encompasses data gathering, trend analysis, and predictive modeling, enabling enterprises to make informed decisions to mitigate threats, leverage opportunities, and maintain competitive advantage in an ever-changing business landscape.
According to Gartner, analyzing threats and opportunities with AI will provide medium-high business value to your organization and is of medium feasibility.

Here, Gartner states that AI-driven analysis of threats and opportunities should yield medium-high business value and is of medium feasibility.

5.    Business Roadmap Generation

Business roadmap generation involves creating a comprehensive plan that outlines the specific actions and milestones an organization intends to undertake to transition from its current state to its envisioned future. It aligns business goals and objectives with available resources, timeframes, business capabilities, and initiatives. This strategic tool facilitates clear communication, priority setting, and the coordination of various departments often using business and enterprise architects, ensuring that everyone moves towards common goals. It also helps in tracking progress, identifying potential roadblocks, adapting to changes, and enables involved stakeholders to visualize the path towards long-term value creation and competitive advantage.

Gartner estimates that generating business roadmaps will bring to the organization medium value and is of medium feasibility.

6.    Total Cost of Ownership Optimization

Total cost of ownership optimization involves a thorough evaluation and strategic reduction of all costs associated with acquiring, deploying, using, and maintaining an asset or a solution over its entire lifecycle. This approach considers direct and indirect expenses to minimize the overall financial impact on the organization. By optimizing these costs and using business capabilities, organizations can improve their investment value, enhance budget efficiency, and ensure cost-effective operation and ownership, which, in turn, drives better resource allocation and contributes to increased profitability and sustainability.

Gartner reckons that calculating and optimizing the total cost of ownership of an asset or a solution will bring to the organization medium value and is of medium feasibility.

7.    Enhanced Stakeholder Management

Enhanced stakeholder management involves the practice of engaging key business and IT stakeholders or groups affected by an initiative or a project, ensuring their needs and concerns are addressed, fostering positive relationships, and securing their support to guarantee successful capability and initiative outcomes and sustained organizational growth. Here, Gartner assesses that enhanced stakeholder management will bring to the organization a minimal amount of value but is of high feasibility.

Many AI initiatives are already fully operational in many organizations. There is no reason why enterprise architects will not also be using artificial intelligence tools. Successful enterprise architects already understand this. They have started, at minimum, using AI tools like Open AI and Co-Pilot, and they do not intend to limit themselves to these tools.  Enterprise architects will continue to refine their work to align their organization's structure, capabilities, systems, and solutions with their goals, ensuring efficient and strategic use of technology to support business objectives, elaborate business outcomes, and drive innovation, but more and more with the assistance of specialized artificial intelligence tools. It’s inevitable.

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